CATEGORIES On the Scene

When you think of the best films ever to celebrate the splendor of baseball, one of the first to come to mind is the 1989 Best Picture nominee 'Field of Dreams.' Not only does it celebrate the game and its indelible connection between fathers and sons, but it holds one of the most memorable movie lines of all time: "If you build it, he will come."

In the film, Kevin Costner plays Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella, who after hearing a voice in his cornfield decides to rip out his crops and build a ball field. This leads to the emergence of Ray's father's idol, baseball legend "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (played by Ray Liotta). Shoeless Joe later returns with other players, including his 1919 Chicago White Sox teammates (known as the "Black Sox" for throwing the World Series) who play on the field to the enjoyment of Ray and his family. By the end, Ray realizes Shoeless Joe is not the he who will come.

When you think of the best films ever to celebrate the splendor of baseball, one of the first to come to mind is the 1989 Best Picture nominee 'Field of Dreams.' Not only does it celebrate the game and its indelible connection between fathers and sons, but it holds one of the most memorable movie lines of all time: "If you build it, he will come."

In the film, Kevin Costner plays Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella, who after hearing a voice in his cornfield decides to rip out his crops and build a ball field. This leads to the emergence of Ray's father's idol, baseball legend "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (played by Ray Liotta). Shoeless Joe later returns with other players, including his 1919 Chicago White Sox teammates (known as the "Black Sox" for throwing the World Series) who play on the field to the enjoyment of Ray and his family. By the end, Ray realizes Shoeless Joe is not the he who will come.

Location as Character: The field becomes the lifeblood of the film and where all of its drama occurs. James Earl Jones gives his beautiful "People Will Come" speech on the field when Ray is about to cave and sell it; a young player chooses to cross the playing field into the bleachers to save Ray's choking daughter, and in the process instantly becomes elderly; and finally, there's a very special game of catch at the film's end that makes the manliest of men shed a tear.

Historical Significance: Since filming wrapped the field has become a beacon of the national pastime, not only in Iowa but around the world. For years the field was on two neighboring properties with one farmer owning left and center field and the other owning the rest, including the house. In 2007 the house owner, Don Lansing, bought out his neighbor and now half of the field isn't closed earlier than the other. Tens of thousands of visitors come to the field yearly to play on it, visit the gift shop or just sit on the bleachers and take it all in.

Directions: The field, best known by the locals as the Field of Dreams Movie Site, is located at 28995 Lansing Rd. in Dyersville, Iowa. That's 25 miles west of Dubuque, Iowa, and around 200 miles west of Chicago, Illinois. So be sure to use the bathroom before starting your drive.

Visitor's Info: According to its Web site, the field is open to the public from April 1 through November 31. And bring your glove, there's always someone up to get a game started.